AT&T plans to offer mobile 5G to customers in a dozen cities, including parts of Dallas, Atlanta and Waco, Texas, by the end of this year with additional cities to be named in the coming months. With a standards-based, mobile 5G, AT&T claims it’s the only U.S. carrier that’s announced plans to deliver this technology to its customers in 2018.
“We’re working on an aggressive schedule to help ensure customers can enjoy mobile 5G when we launch the network this year. We will add more 5G capable mobile devices and smartphones in early 2019 and beyond,” said Igal Elbaz, senior vice president, Wireless Network Architecture and Design on Wednesday.
“After significantly contributing to the first phase of 5G standards, conducting multi-city trials, and literally transforming our network for the future, we’re planning to be the first carrier to deliver standards-based mobile 5G – and do it much sooner than most people thought possible,” Elbaz said.
AT&T launched 5G Evolution last year, along with LTE-Licensed Assisted Access (LTE-LAA) technologies in parts of Indianapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
“Our initial mobile 5G deployments this year will be based on 3GPP standards and operate over mmWave spectrum. We will use mmWave to provide mobile 5G in some areas, and then we will deploy the technology on additional spectrum bands,” Elbaz said. “The way we are implementing 5G in the initial deployments will also seamlessly integrate with current LTE technologies using the non-standalone configuration outlined in 3GPP release 15. The equipment we are deploying today on our LTE network will allow us to easily migrate to 5G.”
Elbaz said AT&T believes 5G and SDN go hand in hand. “A virtualized and software-defined network lets you develop, deploy, and protect new network applications faster than with a hardware-based model,” he said.
February 26, 2018